very few protest movements enjoy perfect clarity about tactics or command widespread support when they begin; they’re designed to spark conversation, raise awareness, attract others to the cause, and build those structural planks as they grow and develop. Dismissing these incipient protests because they lack fully developed, sophisticated professionalization is akin to pronouncing a three-year-old child worthless because he can’t read Schopenhauer: those who are actually interested in helping it develop will work toward improving those deficiencies, not harp on them in order to belittle its worth.
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
Looks like the Marine story was a bit of a miscommunication.
Armed with Twitter, Facebook and shared Googledocs, protesters against corporate greed, unemployment and the political corruption that they say Wall Street represents have taken to the streets in Boston, Los Angeles, St Louis and Kansas City.
The core group, Occupy Wall Street (OWS), claims people will take part in demonstrations in as many as 147 US cities this month, while the website occupytogether.org lists 47 US states as being involved. Around the world, protests in Canada, the UK, Germany and Sweden are also planned, they say.
The speed of the leaderless movement's growth has taken many by surprise. Occupytogether.org, one of several sites associated with theprotest, has had to be rebuilt to accommodate the traffic.
OWS media spokesman Patrick Bruner said: "We have on our board right now 147 US cities. I don't know whether they are occupied or they are planning on being occupied. My guess would be over 30 cities are occupied."
DannyL said: I'm watching this with great interest, and no small amount of trepidation, thinking back on how the US state has reacted when faced with dissidence in the past. But fuck the fear for now.
Interesting article about that on Hullabaloo: to accomplish any sort of progressive change we need both Democrats in power and a grassroots movement pressuring those Democrats to take left-wing positions.
If Democrats aren't in power, it doesn't matter how many street protests there are -- they'll be ignored. If there isn't a grassroots movement pushing Democrats to be progressive, they'll simply cater to moneyed interests.
And yes, as hackneyed as the phrase is, this is a potential consciousness-raising moment -- if the media covers the protests and gives any sort of serious coverage of and consideration to the protesters' concerns.
Evan said: If Democrats aren't in power, it doesn't matter how many street protests there are -- they'll be ignored. If there isn't a grassroots movement pushing Democrats to be progressive, they'll simply cater to moneyed interests.
Big Yom Kippur service at Occupy Wall Street this weekend.
Possibly as many as a thousand celebrants.
Following this developing story with some interest. Question: how unusual are such demonstrations in the recent history of the USA? Here in the UK, especially London, there is a fairly long history of similar anti-capitalist actions going back 20-30 years, to the days of 'Stop the City'. Is there a similar history in NYC or elsewhere in the US? My impression is that this is something new, but correct me if wrong....
Yeah -- one really positive result of the protests is that it's driving the political dialogue: for the first time in decades people are discussing economic inequality, and the fact that the wealthy have essentially co-opted the political process throughout the world.
And the protesters are not blaming immigrants or the poor or the Emmanuel Goldstein of the moment for these problems -- they're (properly, in my opinion) blaming the wealthy and their servants in government.
It's the first time in a long time I've seen a left-wing critique of capitalism gain any traction in the media. And now even the conservative parties around the world are having to address these issues. Which is something in itself.
Thirteen Observations made by Lemony Snicket while watching Occupy Wall Street from a Discreet Distance
1. If you work hard, and become successful, it does not necessarily mean you are successful because you worked hard, just as if you are tall with long hair it doesn’t mean you would be a midget if you were bald.
2. “Fortune” is a word for having a lot of money and for having a lot of luck, but that does not mean the word has two definitions.
3. Money is like a child—rarely unaccompanied. When it disappears, look to those who were supposed to be keeping an eye on it while you were at the grocery store. You might also look for someone who has a lot of extra children sitting around, with long, suspicious explanations for how they got there.
4. People who say money doesn’t matter are like people who say cake doesn’t matter—it’s probably because they’ve already had a few slices.
5. There may not be a reason to share your cake. It is, after all, yours. You probably baked it yourself, in an oven of your own construction with ingredients you harvested yourself. It may be possible to keep your entire cake while explaining to any nearby hungry people just how reasonable you are.
6. Nobody wants to fall into a safety net, because it means the structure in which they’ve been living is in a state of collapse and they have no choice but to tumble downwards. However, it beats the alternative.
7. Someone feeling wronged is like someone feeling thirsty. Don’t tell them they aren’t. Sit with them and have a drink.
8. Don’t ask yourself if something is fair. Ask someone else—a stranger in the street, for example.
9. People gathering in the streets feeling wronged tend to be loud, as it is difficult to make oneself heard on the other side of an impressive edifice.
10. It is not always the job of people shouting outside impressive buildings to solve problems. It is often the job of the people inside, who have paper, pens, desks, and an impressive view.
11. Historically, a story about people inside impressive buildings ignoring or even taunting people standing outside shouting at them turns out to be a story with an unhappy ending.
12. If you have a large crowd shouting outside your building, there might not be room for a safety net if you’re the one tumbling down when it collapses.
13. 99 percent is a very large percentage. For instance, easily 99 percent of people want a roof over their heads, food on their tables, and the occasional slice of cake for dessert. Surely an arrangement can be made with that niggling 1 percent who disagree.
Please contact your Goldman representative for a full prospectus."
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